The Times West Virginian

February 15, 2012

Fun things to do

By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — “It’s just a fun thing to do.”

If you ask Regina Myers what she’s talking about, be prepared for a long list of “fun things to do.”

She paints. She sews, knits, crochets and quilts. Scrapbooks. Takes pictures. Builds miniature dollhouses.

She collects and makes teddy bears (one smaller than a pinky nail), and tiny baby dolls.

She’s done ceramics. Stained glass.

In Mexico, she zip-lined over the rain forest, swam with the dolphins and visited Mayan ruins.

“I started sewing for survival,” she said with a laugh. “When the kids were little, I learned to knit, sew and crochet. I enjoyed having my break and time to do what I wanted to do.

“My grandkids are my real hobby,” she said.

“I wish I could find just one thing that I enjoyed and stuck with it. But I can’t ... not yet. I’m still looking.”

She started painting back in 1976. Then, true to form, she gave it up.

“I was raising four kids. And then about 10 years ago, my mother-in-law went to a class with me. It’s just a fun thing to do.”

For a brief while, she lived in Georgia. To occupy herself, she bought a dollhouse kit. And a big love for miniatures was born.

“I now have a barn and three houses. I decorated this one for Christmas. It was build as you go. It’s just a fun thing to do.

“I didn’t have a dollhouse when I was little. My mother said I never even played with dolls. And now I collect them.”

She takes photos.

“I have more than 30,000 photos on that computer ... of my grandchildren, of course,” she said, laughing. “A couple of them have painted with me. They enjoyed it so much.”

She quilts.

“I quilted off and on. I made this West Virginia quilt over Christmas. I sewed when the kids were little. I started making baby quilts at Christmas for the church. We donated them to the Union Mission.

“I’m so tender-hearted I never could go to those Christmas parties. But one year I made a duck blanket. A little boy opened it and started crying. ‘My ducky blanket came back,’ he said.”

It’s hard to keep track of where she went from quilting.

“I start out and really enjoy doing something, and then I get bored and try something different.”

She made a quilt from T-shirts one grandson had worn to different baseball tournaments.

“He’d outgrown them, so I thought, ‘Why not?’ Now he’ll have it forever.”

She takes photos and stores them in her computer and in scrapbooks she makes.

“I’m never bored,” she said.

She’s got projects in just about every room in her house and would love to add on a “just Regina” room.

“If I could put everything in one room, for me, that would be the ultimate.”

She does have a craft room, with cabinets stuffed with various paints, materials and supplies. She’s even got digitized computer software with patterns hooked up to the sewing machine.

“It makes it easier. Just something I play with,” she said.

She hasn’t tried woodworking yet.

“It’s so creative. To me, it means more if somebody makes me something rather than go out and buy it. They spend the time and energy into making something and that makes me feel like they really care.”

She does the same with her creations. She’ll give them away.

“I do this just for my own. I don’t sell things.”

She’s taught ceramics and done stained glass.

“I’ve done cake decorating, but I haven’t taken any cooking classes,” she said. “I don’t know if that’s on my agenda.”

When the family went on camping trips, she and her father would draw nature scenes.

“I’d put things in that I saw but he didn’t, like a rabbit. We had a lot of fun doing that.”

All these hobbies are much more than plain busy work.

“It’s therapy. I can’t sit and watch TV. I like to read, Christian romances mostly. I read on my iPad some, but I still like the feel of a book. I don’t think books will ever go out.”

Zip-lining was just another item on her bucket list, she said.

“It seemed like it would be something fun to do. We did seven different stations over the rain forest. After the first few, it got kind of boring and not as exciting. But it was fun.”

If she had to give up all her hobbies but one, she’d keep quilting, she said.

“It’s so old-fashioned. We’re losing those skills our grandparents had, even things we want our grandkids to have.”

She’s willing to try almost anything, she admitted.

“I don’t know what’s next.”

“Take 5” is featuring local residents with interesting hobbies. To be included as a Wednesday “Take 5” feature, contact Debra Minor Wilson at 304-367-2549 or dwilson@timeswv.com.

Email Debra Minor Wilson at dwilson@timeswv.com.